It’s not often that one network celebrates a programming event staged by another. Then again, there aren’t many talents on TV like Michael Strahan, who has prominent roles at both ABC and FOX. AND it isn’t often that a prominent talent like that is sent to outer space!
On Saturday, Michael Strahan was among the passengers of the Blue Origin ship that blasted off for a trip to the edge of space. The flight lasted ten minutes and allowed Strahan and others to experience weightlessness while reaching an altitude of 66 miles above the Earth.
Strahan was back on terra firma and in the studio Sunday for FOX. Curt Menefee joked that he had the longest work commute ever recorded.
“Thank you. Thank you. I don’t feel like an earthling anymore,” Strahan joked.
A video documenting the experience was shown. It showed blastoff, the crew experiencing weightlessness, and the capsul’s return to Earth. Strahan’s crewmates noted that the Hall of Famer never seemed nervous until the countdown started.
The video was followed immediately by questions from his FOX NFL Sunday colleagues.
Terry Bradshaw said weightlessness and space travel was “something I’m never gonna do, because I won’t even do a Ferris wheel.” He noted just how many things could go wrong and asked Michael Strahan if there was ever a moment where he questioned his decision.
Strahan responded that being with Blue Origin all week helped ease any fears. It allowed him to see just how many people are working on these flights and how much time and expertise each individual job takes. He said that even when he looked at the other passengers on the flight, he realized none of them were as nervous as anyone watching the liftoff at home.
“I am more comfortable with Blue Origin than I am getting on a plane and flying from New York to Los Angeles every week,” he said.
Howie Long came with the toughest question. He noted that Michael Strahan was part of the biggest Super Bowl upset ever. He is in the Hall of Fame. He just had his jersey retired by the New York Giants. So where does going into space rank amongst his professional thrills?
“It was out of this world,” Strahan said laughing. “Pun intended.”
He described the feeling of weightlessness as just the beginning of the experience. He said that in addition to floating, he was overwhelmed by the reality of the vastness and darkness of space and the fragility of life from up above the atmosphere. He also noted that he celebrated a safe return to Earth with his mother and kids.
The trip to space for Michael Strahan was a major event for Good Morning America. He serves as a host for ABC’s weekday morning show. Maybe in the past, it is the kind of thing FOX would avoid talking about on its airwaves, but kudos to that network. Bosses at FOX clearly realize that in the age of mass information, you are a fool not to acknowledge major news your audience is already aware of.
John Buccigross: Return Of NHL ‘Reenergized’ Me In ESPN Role
“I’m just grateful that I was able to get reenergized without leaving the company that I’ve worked for so long.”
John Buccigross is probably the most thankful out of anyone that the NHL returned to the ESPN airwaves this season.
Bucci has been at the network for 25 years and was a part of the coverage team the last time ESPN had NHL broadcast rights. He told Awful Announcing that the change after the 2003-04 season really helped change his focus at the network.
“It’s probably a good thing that it went away back in 2004, because I was able to focus on SportsCenter and kind of move up the ladder there, and maybe I never would have if hockey had stayed all these years,” he said. “Maybe that was good. And then I got involved with college hockey, I asked to do play-by-play a couple of years after we lost the NHL, so I’ve been doing college hockey for over 15 years with play-by-play, hoping we would get the NHL back and then I could do NHL play-by-play.”
Now the NHL is back, the Stanley Cup Final will air on ESPN and ABC, and John Buccigross will be a part of it in some fashion. He said having the chance to pick back up where he left off all those years ago gave him a second wind in his career.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me in my career, being at ESPN over 25 years,” he said. “To kind of get reenergized, reinvigorated with your job after being in the same place for 25 years, that’s probably pretty rare. I’m just grateful that I was able to get reenergized without leaving the company that I’ve worked for so long. At this stage of my career, it was just perfect timing.”
ESPN and Turner Sports replaced NBC Sports as the U.S. broadcast rightsholders for the NHL this season.
Mark Sanchez Emerges As Potential #2 NFL Analyst At FOX
“It is believed that Joe Davis will be the play-by-play man to sit opposite either Brees or Sanchez in the booth.”
Football season is 104 days away and FOX is still sorting out its broadcast crews for the upcoming season.
Enter former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez as one of the top candidates being considered for the number two booth at FOX this season.
Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported that if Drew Brees doesn’t end up in the role, Sanchez is next in line. Greg Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt will comprise the top broadcast team for FOX this season.
It is believed that Joe Davis will be the play-by-play man to sit opposite either Brees or Sanchez in the booth. Marchand reported that Sanchez made a great impression on producers in auditions and tests.
Mark Sanchez began his broadcasting career three years ago. After two seasons of covering college football for ESPN, he made the move to FOX last year.
Tracy McGrady’s Basketball League Enters Media Partnership With Showtime
“The Showtime Basketball brand will create a behind-the-scenes documentary following the OBL’s 2022 tour.”
Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady launched his own basketball league this year. Ones Basketball League is a touring competition to find the best one-on-one basketball players in the country. Now fans can follow the action on Showtime.
The Showtime Basketball brand will create a behind-the-scenes documentary following the OBL’s 2022 tour. The all-access series will put new episodes on the Showtime YouTube channel.
“The production and creative team at Showtime Sports knows how to build and tell stories like no one else, and the detailed background and exciting drama we have already started to capture with OBL makes this content partnership a perfect fit for us,” McGrady said in a press release. “The team at Showtime shares our excitement for putting a spotlight on one-on-one basketball and all of the great action, rich stories, and hyper-competition that flows from the game.”
OBL competitions from now until the end of the season will be documented. Each tour stop features a 2-day, 32-player competition. Three of the league’s six competitions are complete.
Showtime will be there for stops in New York, Springfield, Virginia, and Los Angeles as well as the championship tournament in Las Vegas.
“We believe in Tracy’s vision and are thrilled to be working with the OBL on their inaugural season,” Brian Dailey, SVP of Sports Programming & Content for Showtime Networks Inc, added. “This collaboration embodies the Showtime Basketball brand — premium, bold and boundary-pushing. We are delighted to welcome Tracy and the OBL team to our unmatched lineup of content and talent.”